Current affairs radio show set to be broadcast from Wrexham church

Reporter:

Claire Gallagher

A CHURCHWARDEN who taught broadcaster Jonathan Dimbleby in the 1960s is to be reunited with his former pupil.

Roger Graham-Palmer applied to have Mr Dimbleby present his BBC Radio 4 show Any Questions? from St Giles’ Parish Church in Wrexham.

Now his wish is to be granted as the current affairs programme visits the church next month.

Mr Graham-Palmer taught Mr Dimbleby farm management at the Royal Agricultural College in Cirencester, Gloucestershire in 1965.

Back then Mr Dimbleby, whose late father, Richard, was a broadcasting legend and whose brother, David, is also a respected broadcaster, wanted to be a farmer and for a number of years ran an organic farm near Bath.

But Mr Graham-Palmer recalls even then he had an interest in the political life.

He said: “He was argumentative back then and a very good debater.

“I remember him asking a lot of difficult questions.

“I think he is an excellent presenter, following on from his father.

“He and his brother have a real gift.”

Any Questions?, hosted at a different location each Friday, sees a panel of guests answer topical questions posed by the audience.

On February 4 the people of Wrexham will have the opportunity to sit in on the show, ask questions and join in the debate.

Local politicians and key figures from the local community will also be invited.

About 400 people will be able to fit into the church on the evening .

The warm-up debate starts at 7.30pm with live recording starting at precisely 8.02pm.

Mr Graham-Palmer, who lives in Abenbury, said: “I’m really looking forward to it.

“It should be a jolly good debate with all the political parties and the people of Wrexham.

“I should imagine the VAT increase might be among the discussions, as well as the economic situation, but you never really know what’s going to be around the corner.

“I hope the show will also raise the profile of the church as people will come into it and see how beautiful it is.”

Church administrator Jacqui Blore said: “It should be brilliant and good for the people of Wrexham to come and have their say.

“We don’t know who the panel of politicians are yet and are excited to find out.

“We hope there will be some good audience participation.”

- Tickets are available by post or in person from the Parish Office, College House, 1 Temple Row, Wrexham LL13 8LY. If applying by post, include a stamped addressed envelope. If applying in person, the office is open between 9am and noon each weekday.

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